Sycamores fall to Redbirds in the Battle of the ISUs, 74-67

TERRE HAUTE, IN - Indiana State men’s basketball team suffered 74-67 conference loss to the Illinois State Redbirds Saturday. The Sycamores came into this game with momentum, riding a four-game win streak.

 “We lost that game in the first half,” Indiana State men’s head basketball coach Greg Lansing said. “I’m not saying we weren’t ready to go but they hit first and we didn’t respond very good.”

The Sycamores opened up the game rough. At half, Illinois State led Indiana State 32-23. The Sycamores went 8-for-23 from the field in the first half while the Redbirds went 12-27. 

It was a cold shooting night for Indiana State, which finished shooting 35% from the field and 25% from the three-point line.

Indiana State was only outrebounded by one, 36-35.

Illinois State’s Jaycee Hillsman led his team in scoring with 23 points and he also tied with Los Angeles native Keith Fisher III in rebounding with nine. Senior junior-college transfer Zach Copeland trailed behind Hillsman with 20 points on the night.

Indiana State senior Jordan Barnes left it all on the court for his final time ever playing in Normal against the Redbirds. Barnes led in scoring with 21 points. Senior center Bronson Kessinger trailed behind Barnes with 10 points. Kessinger grabbed three rebounds for Indiana State.

Illinois State had two players foul out, while they had two more just a foul away from fouling out. The Sycamores did not have any players foul out, but senior Christian Williams, junior Tyreke Key and freshman Jake LaRavia all got into foul trouble, with four personal fouls each at the end of the game. That limited Key’s playing time, as well as LaRavia’s.

There were many fouls called. Within five minutes of the second half there had already been 16 fouls.

“We didn’t guard them as well as we would have liked,” Lansing said. “We were a little bit better offensively in the second half because our pace was better. There were a lot of fouls called in the second half so it was kind of hard to get in the flow of things.”

With LaRavia and Christian Williams on the brink of fouling out, which left freshman Tre Williams in the paint to make plays. Tre Williams led in rebounding with seven rebounds; Christian Williams trailed behind him with six rebounds.

Illinois State improved to 8-16 on the season and 3-9 in the conference. Indiana State fell to 14-9 overall and 7-5 in the conference. The next game for the Sycamores will be on the road in Carver Arena against 16-5 Bradley at 7 p.m. Illinois State’s next matchup will be against Northern Iowa, the team leading the Missouri Valley Conference with a 21-3 overall record and 10-2 record in the MVC.